No. of Recommendations: 1
Hey duorah,

The criticism includes the point that soon after the downgrade, the stock was up more days than down. Is this the Fools idea of investing? The Fool cannot afford to have his cake and eat it too. Either we keep our comments to long term prospects, business strategies etc or we forget about the Foolish take on investing.

I thought that it would be best to judge a near-term recommendation on its own merits. No, I don't think that, even if it had been correct, it would have been a very valid reason for investing in the company or not.

It does demonstrate, though, that Merrill can't call the short-term movements of a stock, no matter how well they think they can.

I think ML is correct in directing its clients away from volatility.

I probably should have devoted some time in the article to this point. Merrill does not point its clients away from volatility per se. Take Infospace (Nasdaq: INSP), which they have rated near- and long-term Buy:

Look volatile? It is. How 'bout AMZN or YHOO? Buys on both of them, long and short.

I guess what I'm saying is that, basically, these ratings just don't make any darn sense. Sometimes reading the report helps, but often it doesn't. I think it's best to just mine them for information and occasional insight, and forget the grades.

Fool on!

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